The Running Man

I should be writing something else right now, but the old man in a neon yellow safety suit ran up the hill again and I wanted to share that with you.

Since I moved here, I’ve noticed a tall and skinny old man who runs around the neighborhood every day. Every day. He wears a full body suit (it looks to be rain gear or something) with a hood. It is bright yellow. You’d see him anywhere. His gait is a little stiff, but he never seems to miss a day and gives it his all.

I’m inspired by him. I think we can all be inspired by someone with that kind of determination. I’d put him at 65 at the youngest, but he hasn’t given up. It makes my hesitance towards ever achieving my fitness goals silly.

Instead of being jealous by someone who might be fitter than you, or have something you don’t, aspire to achieve more yourself. Use them as inspiration! It brings more positivity into your life.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

IMG_0304Frost trying to defeat the vibrant red berries.

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The Job Search: Going Bananas

Image

That is me right now.

Eyes, strained and bugging out from searching for and applying to jobs for hours.

Skin ashen, zombie-like, from not exiting the house for anything but to get some Subway reallyquick.

Insane, glazed expression, from spending hours redesigning portfolio website because it seemed like the right thing to do today.

And so much more!

Gah, I’m going to stop writing fragmented sentences and take a deep breath. Ok, I did it. Good. Today was another long day in searching for a job. Got my first rejection email  as well, which is expected but still depressing. I think between today and yesterday I managed to apply to at least another 10 or so graphic design jobs.

I’ve been trying to overhaul my portfolio and show better range in it, but it ends up frazzling my brain, hurting my back and neck, and just mentally draining me. It isn’t the design part–its coming up with something to design. I can’t just say “random tea shop” and design. I need to know the high concept of the shop, the name of the shop (oh NO, not the naaammmeeee) where it is located, etc.

But I’m trying. I’m making progress, and I think that is what counts. I’m trying to keep a positive attitude, but it can definitely be hard sometimes. I think the key is to work hard on it for most of the day, then just get the heck OFF the computer. Which is what I will do now.

I bid you adieu!

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Pranayama & Dristhi: my yoga practice at home

Lately my schedule has been swamped, making it impossible to go to the studio to get in my daily practice. I do stretches at home to keep flexible and relieve stress, but I never do sun salutations or try to flow in more challenging poses. I kind of felt like without a teacher directing me on what poses to move into, I would be lost.

But some yoga is better than no yoga, so I’ve committed to a small practice on days I can’t go in. So far I’ve gone for about 30 minutes and, much to my surprise, I know a lot more about flowing and sequencing than I thought I did!

Doing a home practice has proven to be a great way I can practice poses that we don’t usually do in class, or that I like. It also gives me time to fully go at my own pace and never worry about taking too long in a pose or not keeping up. Even though I’m good at tuning out people around me in class, when at home alone obviously it becomes even easier to focus and maintain my dristhi since there isn’t anyone around.

The workout itself is different, too. My yoga towel is great, but it definitely makes things slippery and I don’t go as far into poses like Warrior I as I could because of the slippage. At home I tend to go deeper into poses and hold them longer. I love the heat in hot yoga classes, but you get a very different experience when you do it without.

That’s it on that. If you only do yoga in a class environment, try doing it at home. You’ll be surprised at what you know and what you can do!

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A moment of strength, followed by the crash

Ahhh, it happened. It happened so terribly.

Clean eating? Yeah right, what is that? I had a major four day setback on my clean eating effort. It’s funny how I can go from clean and vegetarian to Dairy Queen two nights in a row, dinner out with my mom, then huge sloppy joes at D&D. I’ve done some introspective thinking on the matter and here is what I’ve concluded.

Why it happened

Day 1- I was stressed out from taking care of my boyfriend who was extremely sick with the flu.
Day 2- I was depressed about my car having issues with its transmission.
Day 3- I figured since I’m out, I might as well REALLY go all out.
Day 4- I decided since I failed so terribly the passed few days, there was no point in portion control.

Now, for my own emotional sake, I want to establish to myself how I can stop this in the future and also a post-mortem of it.

How I’ll be better

1. The last thing you need when stressed is bad food. Instead, do some deep breathing and eat a healthy dinner before someone asks you to eat something bad. (lol!)
2. External factors like depression don’t have to mean eat food. YOGA. Do. More. Yoga. When the urge to eat comes, just do a couple vinyasas.
3. A common excuse for me is always overdoing it when I go out. There are other options at restaurants that the heaviest option. Next time, go for something lighter.
4. This is totally irrational. What happened the day before does not have to ruin today. Remember, every day is a new day to start fresh and healthy.

So, the need to plan ahead the next few days is vital. Here is the menu (today I have some tricky situations but I WON’T let them defeat me.)

The Menu

Sunday (today): High tea with Katie and Erin’s birthday party. I won’t eat much at Erin’s because I have a healthy chicken dinner I’m making at home.
Monday: Roasted beets with a crumble of goat cheese, wild rice.
Tuesday: Flank steak with roasted sunchokes. (Tredmill arrives today possible, yay!)
Wednesday: Spicy coconut soup and daikon carrot slaw.

Snacks: plain Greek yogurt, nuts, fruit!

Ok, I know I can rally and get it together. After all, I was doing so wonderfully before this mess! I was sleeping better and just felt great.

To battle! =)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

the_missing_piece_by_leAlmighty

“the missing pieces”

I took this photo so long ago for a photography assignment. It was a series, but this one has always spoken to me the most. Windows, for me, are what is between me and something I could be or should be doing. It is often representative of a barrier or a reminder of where you are. It doesn’t matter what you see outside of the window; what is in focus, what matters, is you behind it.

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2 Second Headstand and the Great Job Search

Those two topics are unrelated save for the fact that both are on my list of 2014 goals. Progress has been made and I am psyched!

Months before I graduated from college last year I was already in panic mode over getting a job. At least I knew what I wanted to do: graphic design. It was only a matter of starting a career, finding the right place, etc. This is extremely intimidating. This is the next, what, decade of my life we’re talking about?

But finally I got myself together and started applying to jobs. A little of that anxiety has chipped away. A step in the right direction.

As for headstands…

Well, I can get up there for a solid 2 seconds now. I’m still against the wall, but I feel like I’ll be ready to move away soon. I also am rockin’ a tripod headstand in class, and I think that is helping me overall with the headstand goals. A huge part of progressing for me is trusting myself to open up in the pose and believe in my own strength.

Everyone is sick in the house so I’ve been on a Lysoling-soupmaking-juicing frenzy to try and stay healthy and repair those who are broken. We’ll see how that goes. =)

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First week of clean eating, done!

My quest to start eating clean and going vegetarian twice a week has been successful so far and I’m really feeling the difference. I sleep better at night, don’t feel as sluggish, and enjoy the time I spend preparing my food.

But this is the point where things start going downhill. A week is easy; every week after that is hard. I know myself well enough to recognize my patterns. I’m amped up about something for a short while, then it becomes difficult to maintain. Right now prepping the food and spending that time is fun, but I know in a few days I’ll start tiring of it. I’ve also been good at rejecting unhealthy food options, but my willpower is getting a little shaky. The only way to combat this is psychology: I keep telling myself every day that I can do it and WILL DO IT.

I wanted to write down a quick list summarizing what I know about eating. These are simple, but being reminded of them is helpful.

Simple Truths

1. I avoid eating passed 7pm at al costs. The food sticks with me all night, isn’t metabolized properly, and makes me sleep poorly.
2. WATER. Water. Water! If I don’t drink at least 1 hydroflask (my unit of measurement for water, otherwise known as 24oz) a day, I feel sluggish and hot yoga is much harder.

My wonderful orange Hydroflask!

My wonderful orange Hydroflask!

3. An oldie but a goodie: planning ahead. If I don’t know what I’m going to be eating the next day, I start grazing on food that is almost always unhealthy.
4. Food doesn’t control me. My entire life I’ve gone to food when I’m depressed, sad, happy…not anymore.

A clean recipe I came up with; very simple Nappa cabbage slaw with lime.

A clean recipe I came up with; very simple Nappa cabbage slaw with lime.

How I’m Eating Clean

1. I got Clean Start by Terry Walters for Christmas, and make at least a couple recipes from it a week. They are all vegan; sometimes I make them vegetarian or add chicken to them for variety.
2. Always have TONS of vegetables on hand so I can make up recipes every day (it makes it more fun). I also try to get vegetables I’ve never used before, or rarely use, so I can be creative.
3. I try not to have an “I could be doing something else” attitude while preparing meals. I ask myself, “What would you be doing? Playing Candy Crush or watching TV?” The answer is almost always yes.
4. Eating the leftovers! I have no problem eating leftovers the next day. It helps me eliminate the work for an entire meal by eating last night’s dinner.

That’s it! Just wanted to write a little blog on it. One of my 2014 goals was to start eating better and I have!

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A Happy Christmas

tree

The past few years, the winter holidays weren’t as magical as I remember them being. I’m not sure if it is because my young cousins have grown up, the youngest recently discovering Santa isn’t real, or some unknown and indescribable force was working against us. But the fact remained that each Christmas and New Year we were simply going through the motions of a holiday but not enjoying it. The family didn’t seem as interested in being together, most people leaving early or coming very late.

A helicopter everyone loved flying around.

A helicopter everyone loved flying around.

This year was surprisingly and happily different. The Christmas Eve dinner was very simple and well balanced, as Ina Garten would say, it wasn’t “fussy.” The absence of my mother (who chose not to come due to a fight with my aunt) might’ve contributed to an easier, lighter atmosphere. Everyone seemed particularly happy to be together. Brunch the next day was also low maintenance, and there was much more emphasis on having fun and being together rather than the quantity and quality of gifts. I’m not sure how to accurately describe why those two events were different, but I felt a strong difference. On New Year ’s Eve we played card and board games like we always used to and had delicious appetizers and one dessert.

train

I also made an effort to go to and host many events prior to Christmas; being together with other people instead of isolated in my own Christmas-y house added to the good year.

My cat with a popper.

My cat with a popper.

Anyway, I found I didn’t feel as tragically depressed when taking down decorations yesterday. It was a satisfying, whimsical Christmas full of family, love, and food. What more could you ask for?

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